The Indigenous Research and Education Garden hosts internships each year to enrich its programming with in-depth student learning, providing students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and conduct their own research. Interns are eligible to receive course credit toward their UBC degree. Interns gain skills and experience in ethnobotany, working with traditional knowledge, medicines, and foods, intergenerational learning, communications, Indigenous research methodologies, and community collaboration. Their research and reflections provide evidence to improve these programs and make future recommendations regarding student engagement.


xWc̓ic̓əsəm Indigenous Land-Based Summer Internship at UBC Farm

The Indigenous Research Partnership at the Faculty of Land and Food System invites applications for internship positions at xwcicə̓ səm: Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden.

The internship is based at xwci̓ cə̓ səm Garden at UBC Farm and collectively led by a group of Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, community members, students, and Indigenous Faculty. Interns participate in ongoing research projects with faculty, graduate students, and community members. They participate in planning, designing, and implementing pilot-scale research projects; and assist in data collection using qualitative and quantitative methods and Indigenous methodologies. Students learn about Indigenous research, frameworks, research methodologies, land-based pedagogies, research ethics, and Indigenous Community protocols for reciprocal and productive community engagement.

The Garden is located on the unceded lands and waters of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) people at the UBC Farm. The Garden aims to serve educational, and research needs related to Indigenous knowledge and its intersections with other ways of knowing, emphasizing teaching, learning, and research. Rooted on Indigenous land-based practices, the Garden is guided by the principle that “food and plants are medicine.” In addition, it follows the research ethic framework of the “4R’s (respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility) and a holistic understanding of health and wellness.

Our focus is on Indigenous food sovereignty, food security, land-based health and wellness, and traditional plant knowledge while increasing participants’ access to traditional and non-traditional plants/food knowledge and practices. In addition to its international, community-based research and Indigenous land-based teachings, the Garden engages with numerous regional Indigenous schools, communities, and organizations. The Garden hosts research and education programs, supports UBC courses, and collaborates with community organizations, schools, and foundations initiatives. Garden volunteer working sessions are held weekly from the planting to the harvesting (May to Nov).

Interns will gain skills and experiences in Indigenous land-based research and community-engaged practices through gardening, plant knowledge, and community engagement while

working alongside traditional knowledge holders. The Intern will collaborate with the Garden Team to plan, maintain, plant, harvest and process medicinal and food plants growing in the Garden during weekly work sessions, workshops, and other land-based activities implemented at the Garden.

Interns are expected to enroll in a directed studies APBI 490 course for 3 or 6 credits in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, regardless of their degree program. By the end of the eight weeks (3 credits) or 16-week (6 credits) internship, students will be eligible to receive course credit towards their UBC degree, pending their respective faculty programs’ approval.

Interns Responsibilities

The Intern will work alongside the land-based Garden Team on the following tasks and responsibilities:
• Support documentation and dissemination of land-based activities through the Garden’s online social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Newsletter) and video editing.

• Support knowledge keepers and Elders during land-based activities.
• Support regular garden maintenance, including weeding, planting, watering, harvesting, and processing food and medicinal plants.
• Co-supervise and work alongside volunteers implementing garden activities.
• Support research data collection when necessary.
• Support the coordination, promotion, and evaluation of workshops or tours throughout the growing season.
• Update and maintain garden online event/activity calendar.

Preferred Qualifications

• UBC undergraduate or graduate students
• If interested in Directed Studies, students must not have completed the allowed number of credits of Directed Studies or should get special permission from their home program.
• Interested in Indigenous health and wellness, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous food sovereignty, food security, gardening, or related topics.
• Some experience conducting literature reviews, implementing qualitative and quantitative research, and information technology.
• Eager to gain research experience, education delivery, communication skills, and biocultural diversity.
• Ability to work both in a team and individually with minimum supervision.
• Comfortable with and physically able to work outdoors in variable weather conditions.
• Awareness of and sensitivity to Indigenous worldviews, cultural diversity, histories and contemporary issues impacting Indigenous people.

Position Details

  • This is an unpaid internship.
  • Interns should commit a minimum of 10 hours per week for eight weeks for three credits or 10 per week for 16 weeks for six credits. A non-credit option is also available with the permission of the Instructor).
  • Date: May 1 to June 30, and/or July 1 to August 30, 2024.
  • A flexible schedule will be determined with the candidate after the selection process.
  • Dr. Eduardo Jovel, LFS Associate Professor, will supervise the Directed Study.
  • Individual or team projects, deliverables, and terms of supervision will be defined collaboratively with the supervisor.

How to apply

Submit a current CV and a brief cover letter (max. 700 words on Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) that includes and outlines:

  • Personal/professional background information
  • Areas of focus, interests, objectives, and goals
  • Intentions and expectations of working with us.

Please email your application to


The 2024 application deadline is Sunday, April 21.